Apr 28

The Ultimate Guide to the IB Program

by Trent Baumbach

The Ultimate Guide to the IB Program

The International Baccalaureate (IB) program is a globally recognized educational program that emphasizes critical thinking, research skills, and community service. As a parent (or student) how can I be sure that the rigorous curriculum and significant amount of time and effort required will pay off?

What are the Benefits of the IB Program?

At its core, the IB programs (PYP, MYP, and DP) are designed to benefit students in three key areas:

    1. Provide students with a comprehensive education that prepares them for success in college and beyond.
    2. Emphasize critical thinking, research skills, and community service, skills essential for success in today’s world.
    3. Demonstrate students’ ability to manage rigorous courses, which can give students a competitive advantage when applying for college.

Statistically, IB program graduates also benefit from:

    1. Higher Educational Outcomes: The IB’s worldwide recognition can give students a competitive advantage when applying for college or university. IBO data shows 45.7% of DP students enroll in a top 20 university.
    2. High success rate in university: According to an IBO study, students who completed the DP had a 74.4% 4-year graduation rate, compared to the US average rate of 41.1%. 
    3. Preparation for college-level work: IB DP students outpace their non-IB peers in terms of critical thinking and global-mindedness. These students report the ability to “take on new challenges”, “learn to persevere” and “develop better interpersonal skills,” all of which aid in success and independence in college-level work.
    4. Personal development: The IB program emphasizes development of personal values like empathy, respect, and responsibility, while helping students improve their intercultural understanding, communication, and reflection.
    5. Increased earning potential: IB DP graduates are more likely to enroll in science programs (60%, vs. 22% for non-IB graduates) and attend top universities, both of which impact long-term earning potential.

Do you want to know more about IB and how Tokyo Academics can help?

What challenges do IB students and parents face? How can they overcome these?

The rigorous nature of the IB programs mean students often face the following difficulties:

Heavy Workload:

Challenge

IB students may find themselves overwhelmed with the amount of essays, projects, and exams needed to complete each course.

Solutions

  • Prioritize assignments using a planner
  • Focus on small, more manageable tasks
  • Work with a tutor to stay up to speed on course content and get organized
Time Management:

Challenge

IB students may face difficulty balancing the particularly high amount of schoolwork with extracurricular activities and other commitments.

Solutions

  • Set realistic goals for yourself
  • Create a study a routine or schedule
  • Say no to activities or commitments that interfere with your studies
Stress and Anxiety:

Challenge

IB students may feel a heightened stress level from the pressure to complete all parts of the program, achieve high grades, and get into a top university.

Solutions

  • Practice self-care activities (exercise, meditation, time with friends and family) 
  • Meet with counselors, teachers, or tutors that can help with specific concerns
Language Barrier:

Challenge

The IB program may be particularly challenging for non-native English speakers, due to its language requirements and English instruction.

Solutions

  • Stay immersed in English via TV shows, books, and talking with native speakers
  • Seek additional English language support from tutors
Balancing Multiple Subjects:

Challenge

IB students may have difficulty with the demands from a range of classes, which covers languages, sciences, humanities, math, and the arts.

Solutions

  • Prioritize most challenging subjects 
  • Work with teachers or tutors on more difficult subjects or before exams
Challenge Solutions

Heavy Workload:

IB students may find themselves overwhelmed with the amount of essays, projects, and exams needed to complete each course.

  • Prioritize assignments using a planner
  • Focus on small, more manageable tasks
  • Work with a tutor to stay up to speed on course content and get organized

Time Management:

IB students may face difficulty balancing the particularly high amount of schoolwork with extracurricular activities and other commitments.

  • Set realistic goals for yourself
  • Create a study a routine or schedule
  • Say no to activities or commitments that interfere with your studies

Stress and Anxiety:

IB students may feel a heightened stress level from the pressure to complete all parts of the program, achieve high grades, and get into a top university.

  • Practice self-care activities (exercise, meditation, time with friends and family) 
  • Meet with counselors, teachers, or tutors that can help with specific concerns

Language Barrier:

The IB program may be particularly challenging for non-native English speakers, due to its language requirements and English instruction.

  • Stay immersed in English via TV shows, books, and talking with native speakers
  • Seek additional English language support from tutors

Balancing Multiple Subjects:

IB students may have difficulty with the demands from a range of classes, which covers languages, sciences, humanities, math, and the arts.

  • Prioritize most challenging subjects 
  • Work with teachers or tutors on more difficult subjects or before exams

Additionally, parents of IB students may encounter:

    • Lack of Familiarity: The IB program and its requirements may feel unfamiliar to parents, especially if they did not attend an IB school themselves. This can make it difficult for parents to provide the support and guidance their children need.
    • Time Commitment: The IB program requires a significant time commitment from students, and parents may feel the need to adjust their schedules to accommodate their child’s needs. This can be challenging for working parents or those with other family obligations.
    • Academic Pressure: Parents often feel pressure to ensure that their children achieve high grades and succeed in school, but may not know exactly how to help with IB program courses. This can lead to stress and anxiety for parents who feel that they need to provide additional support or resources.

Tokyo Academics has worked with hundreds of IB students to ensure they receive the academic support needed to succeed in these classes, while keeping parents fully aware of what steps are needed for their child’s success in the program.

Are there IB schools in Japan?

Yes, including several international schools. See the following link for a list of schools in Japan with IBO accreditation.

See below for a partial list of IB schools in Tokyo.

Aoba Japan International School

PYP

YES

MYP

YES

DP

YES

Canadian International School Tokyo

PYP

YES

MYP

--

DP

--

Global Indian International School

PYP

YES

MYP

--

DP

YES

Horizon Japan International School

PYP

YES

MYP

YES

DP

YES

Seisen International School

PYP

YES

MYP

YES

DP

YES

St. Mary’s International School

PYP

--

MYP

--

DP

YES

Tamagawa Academy

PYP

--

MYP

YES

DP

YES

Tokyo International School

PYP

YES

MYP

YES

DP

--

Yokohama International School

PYP

YES

MYP

YES

DP

YES

Yoyogi International School

PYP

YES

MYP

--

DP

--

School PYP MYP DP

Aoba Japan International School

YES

YES

YES

Canadian International School Tokyo

YES

--

--

Global Indian International School

YES

--

YES

Horizon Japan International School

YES

YES

YES

Seisen International School

YES

YES

YES

St. Mary’s International School

--

--

YES

Tamagawa Academy

--

YES

YES

Tokyo International School

YES

YES

--

Yokohama International School

YES

YES

YES

Yoyogi International School

YES

--

--

Do you want to know more about IB and how Tokyo Academics can help?

What else should I know about the IB?

Overview

The IB program offers three educational programs to students ages 3-19.

Primary Years Programme (PYP)
Age
3-12
Focus
Developing students' social, emotional, and academic skills
Features
  • Inquiry-based learning
  • Learning through real-world experiences
  • Development of personal values like empathy, respect, and responsibility.
Middle Years Programme (MYP)
Age
11-16
Focus
Developing students' social, emotional, and academic skills
Features
  • Inquiry-based learning
  • Practice with critical thinking and research skills
  • Development of personal values like intercultural understanding, communication, and reflection.
Diploma Programme (DP)
Age
16-19
Focus

Teach critical thinking, research skills, and community service and prepare students for success in university

Features
  • Recognized by universities in 150+ countries
  • Emphasizes critical thinking, research skills, and community service
  • Prepares students for higher learning
Program Age Focus Features

Primary Years Programme (PYP)

3 - 12

Developing students' social, emotional, and academic skills

  • Inquiry-based learning
  • Learning through real-world experiences
  • Development of personal values like empathy, respect, and responsibility.

Middle Years Programme (MYP)

11 - 16

Provide a comprehensive education that prepares students for success in the DP

  • Inquiry-based learning
  • Practice with critical thinking and research skills
  • Development of personal values like intercultural understanding, communication, and reflection.

Diploma Programme (DP)

16 - 19

Teach critical thinking, research skills, and community service and prepare students for success in university

  • Recognized by universities in 150+ countries
  • Emphasizes critical thinking, research skills, and community service
  • Prepares students for higher learning
Courses

The program consists of six subject areas:

  • Language and Literature
  • Language Acquisition
  • Individuals and Societies
  • Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • The arts

In addition to these subject areas, the IB course requirements include theory of knowledge, which is designed to help students develop critical thinking skills and explore the nature of knowledge. Additionally, the DP also requires students to complete an extended essay, which is a research project on a topic of the student’s choosing, and a certain number of community service hours.

FAQ

How do I enroll in the IB?
    • To enroll in the IB, students need to contact their school’s IB coordinator or administration to inquire about availability and eligibility requirements. Students may need to meet specific academic criteria and complete an application process.
How long do the IB programs take to complete?
    • Primary Years Programme (PYP):  5 years
    • Middle Years Programme (MYP): 4 years
    • Diploma Programme (DP): 2 years
What are the benefits of the IB programs?
    • High success rates in university
    • Preparation for college-level work
    • International recognition of curriculum framework
    • Personal development
    • Increased future earning potential
What universities recognize the IB programs?
    • The IB is recognized by top universities worldwide, including Harvard, Stanford, USC, UCLA, Oxford, Cambridge, and MIT.
How Do I Succeed in the IB?
    • Be prepared to work hard and make your studies a priority
    • Ask for help when you need it and be open to feedback from your teachers
    • Developing good time management skills and staying organized
    • Form study groups with classmates or work with a tutor to stay on top of course content

Summary

The International Baccalaureate® (IB) program offers three educational programs – the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), and the Diploma Programme (DP) – to students of different ages. The programs emphasize critical thinking, research skills, and community service and have many benefits for students, including high success rates in university, preparation for college-level work, international recognition, personal development, and increased earning potential.

Book your FREE consultation to learn more about how Tokyo Academics can help you achieve success in IB

Join the best summer school program in Japan! Our 2024 Summer Classes are specially designed to help students excel in the fall. Explore over 200 classes tailored for grades 3-12 and make your summer count.

Enroll today and transform your academic journey!